Felony assault case dismissed when witness recants her story

The case against a 26 year old Scottsbluff man charged with second degree assault after allegedly punching another man with brass knuckles has been dismissed because the key witness is no longer willing to testify for the state.

Joe Ybarra was accused of beating Alejandro Gauna on November 1st in an apparent dispute that involved Ybarra's current girlfriend, who had a child with Gauna during their previous relationship.

Gauna's girlfriend said she witnessed the assault after Gauna agreed to meet Ybarra outside a Scottsbluff home, telling Police Ybarra stepped out of his vehicle and immediately attacked Gauna before driving off. But Scotts Bluff County Attorney Doug Warner says the woman has now recanted her original story.

The court documents say stitches were required to close the wounds at Gauna's face when he was treated at Regional West Medical Center.

The case was dismissed with prejudice, which means it will not be refiled again.

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